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Once a paper is accepted by a journal's editor(s) it will be sent to the production department at Cambridge University Press to be prepared for publication. Efficiency, accuracy and quality are at the heart of this process. Authors will have access to a dedicated production editor, who will be available to answer questions and offer support as their article progresses through the steps towards publication.

Our processes are streamlined throughout, as we recognise the importance of making sure papers reach the academic community rapidly and with minimal fuss. However, at all stages we take care to offer an attentive service that matches the requirements of the material and does not make any compromises on quality.

Preparing for production

Many journals will ask their authors to prepare a final version of their manuscript according to that journal's particular style before beginning the production process. At this stage it is also important to ensure every element of the paper required by the journal is in place (e.g. the abstract, keywords, acknowledgements, author details, high resolution images, figure place markers, captions, supplementary material etc.). You may wish to consult some of our guides as you prepare your manuscript for production:

The production process

The exact production workflow for each journal will vary to match its specific requirements. We encourage authors to consult the journal's editor(s) for precise guidance on the process their paper will follow. The elements of a typical production cycle are outlined below:

The journal production process

A substantial number of Cambridge journals offer online publication ahead of print publication using the Cambridge FirstView model. Articles in these journals are generally published online within 2–3 weeks of receipt of your corrected proof. Articles are published in final form, paginated independently, fully citable with an assigned digital object identifier (DOI) and made available to the journal's subscribers. They are later allocated to an issue of the journal by the editorial office and repaginated accordingly.

Typically we work to a 6–8 week production schedule for FirstView articles, while the timetable for a journal operating an issue-based production workflow will depend on the scheduled publication dates of forthcoming issues.

Checking your article proof

Before publication, you will receive an email with a PDF of your proof. The email will include guidance on checking your article and returning your corrections. It may also include queries from the copyeditor, if these have not been addressed during the copyediting phase. Please note that this process is intended for the correction of typographical errors and is not an opportunity to make substantial changes to the text.

For the majority of journals, we ask that you mark your corrections electronically by annotating the PDF. Instructions for commenting on PDFs can be found here.

We generally require your corrections to be returned within 2 to 4 working days. Delays at this stage are one of the most common reasons for delayed publication.

Copyright transfer and licences to publish

It is our standard policy to acquire copyright of articles that are published in our journals. Ownership of copyright by one central organisation offers the best international protection against unauthorised use by a third party. This approach also ensures that requests by third parties to reprint or reproduce an article, or part of it, are handled efficiently and in accordance with a general policy that is sensitive to any relevant changes in international copyright legislation and to the general desirability of encouraging the dissemination of knowledge. We take care to ensure this policy does not unduly limit the freedoms of the author to re-use their own work.

The corresponding author for each paper will be sent the specific copyright assignment form for the journal in which they are due to publish, as well as instructions for its completion and return. In addition to defining copyright terms, this form will request a confirmation of the article's originality, the declaration of any conflicts of interest and assurance that permission has been granted for the publication of any third party material.

Please read the copyright assignment form carefully, as it explains the re-use terms surrounding which versions of your article you may post on your own website, departmental or institutional repositories, and subject-specific repositories like PubMed Central or ArXiV.

If you would like to review this form ahead of submission to your chosen journal, it is possible to download it from the journal's pages on Cambridge Core.

Open Access

We provide a range of Open Access publication options across our journals, including various forms of Gold, Green and 'hybrid' publication. Details of open access publication options are available through our Open Access policies pages.

Author charges

The vast majority of authors publishing in Cambridge University Press journals do so for free. If a charge is to be incurred, this will be made clear to the author in advance. Charges typically relate to the publication of colour images in print (although colour publication is free online) or take the form of Article Processing Charges (APCs) associated only with 'Gold' Open Access journals.

If payment is due the corresponding author will be contacted by CCC-Rightslink, which acts on our behalf to collect author charges. Please follow their instructions in order to avoid any delay in the publication of your article.

Further information

We have compiled a 'frequently asked questions' document to help authors with more detailed questions related to the production of their paper with Cambridge University Press. We would encourage authors to contact their journal's production editor directly with any specific queries not covered here.